|Hayward – NCA|
The master leaseholders of Nana Entertainment Plaza sex tourism area in Bangkok have passed the British Football League’s ‘fit and proper’ test as shadow directors of Crawley Town Football Club, the club has announced.
After months of controversy Club Chairman David Pottinger did not name the secret Bangkok businessmen who have kept the club going, but referred to them as ‘our Far East benefactors’.
But the board has already admitted that the major benefactor is Paul John Hayward, from Birmingham, also known as Paul Hilton, and Hong Kong Paul, who created the Eclipse Group in Bangkok, which owns theme bars and club, and owns the Nana master lease in a subsidiary company name.
|Doherty – file pic|
A second man might be Michael ‘Mickey’ Doherty, the former Hong Kong barman and nominal head of the Eclipse Group who was with Hayward has visited the club.
The activities of Paul Hayward in Asia have been well documented on this site. He has been named in connection with multiple boiler rooms (some directed at defrauding British citizens).
He has been accused of setting up former employees for false crimes.
And of course he was arrested but released trying to smuggle cash out of Bangkok to Switzerland in his luggage after boiler room raids in the Thai capital in 2001.
Significantly Chairman David Pottinger stated that the ‘Far East benefactors had past the fit and proper test ‘once again’ something they had failed to tell supporters club members who had expressed concern.
|Pottinger with Stephen Hayward, Paul Hayward’s father behind|
The Confederation of Defrauded Victims today issued the following statement:
“The CDV can verify that the photos of Hong Kong Paul at the Crawley FC football stadium match with the UK citizen, Paul John Hayward, who is verified by several witnesses, independent from one another, to have been one of the masterminds behind five boiler rooms in Kuala Lumpur and one in Pilau Penang (Malaysia), in partnership with Glendon R Bullard, Mark S Hutcherson, Jack F Prather and Paul R Bell, operating from 2004 and beyond.
|Hutcherson boiler room boys starting up in Phnom Penh. Sleeping third from camera in gray shirt is Hayward’s top
manager Shaun Graham.
|Up and running – another room in Phnom Penh|
“These boiler rooms operated as off springs from the boiler rooms, Smith Fairchild and Jackson Cole with administration in Bangkok, Phnom Penh and beyond, targeting thousands of UK private investors and victims across continents.
“CDV have further due diligence linking Paul John Hayward to boiler room scams of more recent dates. Crawley Town FC has certainly not cleared the picture of the mysterious monetary contribution received from Taiwanese bank accounts and Hong Kong Paul by their recent statement.
As Paul John Hayward a/k/a Paul Hilton has actually been searched for by the City of London Police in previous boiler room investigations it is about time for the UK police to renew their investigation as money is now confirmed to have entered into UK jurisdiction”.
|Hayward and Doherty at Crawley FC|
To satisfy the League’s fit and proper rules the the League must be satisfied that directors and shareholders must be not have been involved among many other things –
This is the statement issued by club chairman David Pottinger:
“The club are pleased to confirm that, along with all board members, our Far East benefactors have once again passed the Football League’s ‘fit and proper persons test.’
The first test was conducted voluntarily in 2010 before the club received investment from its benefactors, which steered Crawley Town out of the threat of bankruptcy.
Since then the benefactors’ financial support has helped Crawley Town gain two promotions and we are now an established Football League club enjoying the most successful period in our 119-year history. We are a small club with a limited fan-base and whilst the board tries to steer the club towards self-sufficiency we are dependent on generous individuals who love Crawley Town and want to help financially on and off the field.
Chairman Dave Pottinger said: “The club have always tried to be transparent with our supporters regarding the income we receive from its benefactors, but we also have certain obligations to them.
“Our benefactors have never sought glory or credit. They have only asked that supporters respect their right to privacy so they can continue to enjoy watching their team.
“At times the club has been stuck between a rock and a hard place. It has been an extremely difficult balancing act, because we are unable to explain every decision we make publically, which will remain the case because of our commitment to our benefactors regarding non-disclosure and commercial sensitivity.
“But we are confident that the majority of our supporters think that the board has always acted with the best interests of the club at heart even if it is difficult to keep everyone happy.
“In July, the board were contacted by the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance, who were seeking reassurances about the funding and ownership of the club.
“We consulted the Football League who confirmed that the club was within its rights to keep information about our benefactors confidential.
“But as a gesture of goodwill, and following further correspondence from the CTSA, the benefactors voluntarily agreed to take the ‘fit and proper persons test’ again which they were happy to do so.
“We have now received confirmation from the Football League that all board members and benefactors comply with the provisions of the ‘fit and proper persons test’ and we are happy as a board to make this information known to all our supporters.
“As we have consistently stated, the ownership of the club remains within the boardroom with director Matt Turner and myself each owning 50 %.
“The directors look forward to meeting our season-ticket holders at the Audience With The Board event on Friday, September 18.”
Of the other boiler room operators named Glen Bullard died in Pai in Northern Thailand earlier this year and Mark Hutcherson died in Texas in June.
Bullard held the sub-lease on 12 bars in the Nana Entertainment Plaza and the central beer bar area.
But he was offloading bars at the time of his death. He was also for a while Thai country president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.
Hutcherson’s cover was as an ‘oil man’ but the oil company he owned was a paper company only.
He was the subject of a kidnap attempt and ransom demand for US$800,000 in Bangkok but was rescued after paying the first US$400,000.
Three of his kidnappers were Thai police. Two were former employees John and James McLeary who claimed they were not part of the kidnap – but had reported Hutcherson and Hayward’s joint involvement in the Jackson Cole share scam to cheat Britons.
Given Drummond’s history in terms of investigative journalism, it’s hardly surprising that he pulls few punches Another view of what’s happening at Crawley Town Football Club.